Sit Down with JKP

The Vancouver Sun – Lessons Learned: Pianist Jon Kimura Parker Always Up For a Challenge

Jon Kimura Parker may be an internationally acclaimed concert pianist, but that doesn’t mean he’s above rocking out to Rush or humming a little Taylor Swift. In this week’s Lessons Learned, Parker, whose current projects include working on a solo transcription of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, talks about the two pianists who changed his life, his biggest challenge and his new-found appreciation of NFL football. Continue reading

International Musician | Cover Story | Jon Kimura Parker Travels the World Bringing Piano Concertos to Life

Jon Kimura Parker | International Musician cover story

Jon Kimura Parker

By Cherie Yurco As a concert pianist, Jon Kimura Parker of Local 145 (Vancouver, BC) travels to a different venue most every weekend, giving 60 or 70 concerts each year. He’s also professor of piano for Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Houston. We caught up with him when he was “commuting” between Houston and China for performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 3 and No. 4. “This is a very exciting tour; I’m playing as a soloist with the three most important orchestras in China—China Philharmonic in Beijing, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Guangzhou Symphony,” he says explaining why he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity, despite the fact that he was in mid-semester and preparing for a student concert in early December. So, he’s flying back and forth for weekend concerts on the other side of the world. Continue reading

jon kimura parker tackles 10 questions

FEATURE | 9.19.2012 | by Brian Horay | the classical beaver

Jon Kimura Parker by Tara McMullen

  this saturday, sunday, and monday, keyboard megastar jon kimura parker sits in with the oregon symphony to help officially open their 2012/13 classical season.  p-town is lucky to host him, and the beavs is lucky to have him tackle 10 questions for the blog.  let’s get to it, shall we? you’re scheduled to perform mozart’s piano concerto #20 with the band ~ how would you describe this music? Mozart 20 is the “Bad Boy” of Mozart piano concertos.  If you have a vague notion of Mozart being polite, this masterpiece of drama, darkness, and dissonance will convince you otherwise.… Continue reading

Mentoring Brilliant Young Talent

Dr. Parker coaching Lucy Chang at Rice University

As Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Jon Kimura Parker has to strike a balance between his performance schedule and his class. LizPR asks how he does it:

LizPR: How did you come to teaching as part of your career? JKP: It’s natural to teach the occasional master class here and there while on the road, and I’ve always enjoyed the chance to get closer to a musical community where I am performing. But taking on a class of students is another matter entirely. Each has particular strengths, specific areas for growth, different responses to different styles of teaching, and a wide range of potential. It’s a huge responsibility as I am really the guardian of their musical growth. Continue reading

The Adventures of Concerto Man!

Concerto Man!

By any measure the 2010-2011 season will be an extraordinary one for Jon Kimura Parker. Ask any pianist to name the top five difficult piano concerti, and chances are you will see Rachmaninoff 3rd, Brahms 2nd, and Barber on that list. Imagine performing all three in one season, and adding everything from Tchaikovsky 1 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to Grieg, Mozart 27, and Beethoven’s “Emperor.” It’s not hard to see why Jon Kimura Parker has earned the nickname “Concerto Man.”

LizPR sat down to speak with Jackie about this daunting schedule.

LizPR: Are you out of your mind? How does this kind of schedule happen? JKP: It can come about in many ways. First of all, orchestras are much more selective about programming than they used to be. You’re less likely to see “Subscription Series No. 7” and more likely to see, for example, “Made in America,” which pretty much implies the Gershwin or Barber concerti, at least in terms of mainstream repertoire. If my concerts fall on Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m often asked for Rachmaninoff 2nd, or perhaps Mozart 21 (which famously added atmosphere to a romantic movie that apparently nobody’s ever seen: “Elvira Madigan.”) Continue reading


"Jon Kimura Parker...Has never performed as intimately and imaginatively in Portland as he did Sunday. Parker played like a one-man orchestra, calling forth different colors and textures as the music required."
-The Oregonian

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